Food-friendly rosé wines are a smart and romantic choice for the holiday of love.
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two glasses of rose wine
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A dozen roses may be the traditional expression of love on Valentine's Day, but it's not the only way to show your significant other how much you care. Instead of (or in addition to!) tons of flowers, why not fill this year's Valentine's Day celebration with a delicious assortment of rosés? Although rosé wine has become the drink of summer, the pink-hued vino category is actually quite diverse and should be enjoyed year-round. Rosés are some of the most food-friendly wines out there, so if you're planning a romantic dinner, leave those sleepy reds for another time and go for something pink.

To Start: Rosé Champagne

Kick-off your evening with a classic: rosé Champagne. Champagne is only made in the Champagne region of France, and the combination of soil, climate, growing conditions, craft, and heritage gives Champagne's wines a luxurious complexity and depth that no other regions can truly rival. An indulgent rosé Champagne is soft and elegant, filled with floral aromas and red fruit flavors, and can be sipped solo as a luxurious way to open up the palate: Try Laurent-Perrier Brut Rosé ($84.97, wine.com). Rosé Champagne is also a decadent pairing if you're starting your romantic evening with treats from the raw bar: Pair oysters with Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé ($84.99, wine.com) and caviar with G.H. Mumm Grand Cordon Rose ($53.99, wine.com).

To Sip with Seafood: Light and Crisp Rosé

The days of sticky-sweet white zin are happily behind us, and wine lovers everywhere have been enjoying the crisp, dry, and refreshing rosé styles made in the south of France to California, Oregon, and beyond. These light, delicate wines are an absolute knockout with seafood dishes and perfect for a romanic meal. Try Lobster Salad with Tostones paired with Gerard Bertrand Source of Joy Rosé 2020 ($22.99, wine.com), Crab Ravioli with Lemon Butter with Erath Rosé of Pinot Noir 2019 ($17.99, wine.com), Sea Scallops Over Shallot-Herb Pasta with Domaines Ott BY.OTT Rosé 2020 ($24.99, wine.com), or Roasted Branzino with Lemon and Thyme paired with Scribe Rosé of Pinot Noir 2020 ($36.99, wine.com).

To Pair with Steak: Deep and Rich Rosé

Yes, rosé is excellent with steak—if you know which styles to pick, that is. Look for wines deep in color. It doesn't mean they will be sweet; instead it's a sign that they have more richness, intensity, and structure than their pale cousins. Rosé is made from red grapes, and the longer the grape skins are allowed to steep in their juice during winemaking, the darker color and more robust flavor and texture are achieved. Look for cerasuolo from southern Italy or Spanish and Portuguese "rosado" wines. These bolder styles are wonderful paired with heartier foods in wintertime. Try Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon with Quinta da Raza Rosado 2020 ($15.99, vivino.com), Grilled Strip Steak with Herb Butter with Masciarelli Villa Gemma Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo ($10.99, wine.com), classic Steak au Poivre with Familia Torres De Casta Rosado 2018 ($11.99, wine.com), or Steak Tartare with Chateau D'Aqueria Tavel Rose 2020 ($20.99, wine.com).

For Dessert: Sweet, Fruity Rosé

For the perfect finale to your meal, wines with a touch of sweetness make a fantastic complement to desserts. One major recent development in the world of wine is that everyone's favorite everyday bubby, prosecco, is finally available in rosé. Pasqua Romeo and Juliet Rosé Prosecco 2020 ($19.99, wine.com) is an ideal pairing with creamy, berry-flecked desserts like Almond Custard Tart with Strawberries. Light, effervescent sparklers like Villa Jolanda Moscato Rosé ($14.99, wine.com) and Elio Perrone Bigarò Rosé ($15.99, vivino.com) work nicely with delicately flavored desserts like Cinnamon-Honey Creme Brulée. And for chocolate lovers, pop a bottle of Croft Pink Port ($18.98, vivino.com) and enjoy it alongside Chocolate-Mousse Parfaits and Chocolate-Dipped Luxardo Cherries.

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